Hawai‘i COVID-19 Daily News Digest September 22, 2020

Posted on Sep 22, 2020 in COVID-19

Governor’s Office:

Governor Ige Gives Verbal Approval to City & County of Honolulu Recovery Framework

Governor Ige is expected to sign off on the latest COVID-19 emergency order from the City & County of Honolulu, aimed at reducing virus spread and to put O‘ahu on the path to economic recovery. The new order establishes criteria for loosening or tightening restrictions on businesses and activities to keep Honolulu healthy.

The framework has four (4) tiers based on the level of community spread, determined by two factors: the number of daily cases reported and the positivity rate. These will be based on 7-day averages over two-or-four-week periods. The order includes a color-coded matrix of which types of businesses are allowed and which remain closed in a particular tier.

At an afternoon news conference Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced many businesses and activities would be allowed to re-open and resume, with restrictions, under Tier 1. The criteria used for loosening restrictions, beginning this Thursday (Sept. 24), is an average 7-day daily coronavirus case count of more than 100 cases, and a 7-day daily positivity rate on O‘ahu of more than 5.0%. The framework includes a mechanism for advancing or retreating to another tier indicated by the metrics. The community cannot advance to the next, less-restrictive tier for at least four consecutive weeks and can only move forward one tier at a time. Conversely the city can skip tiers in moving back. See the full order: oneoahu.org

Department of Health:

63 Cases Reported Today

DOH is reporting 63 additional new cases of COVID-19, with all but eight (8) on O‘ahu. This is the third day of double-digit counts. No additional deaths were reported however, more than 20 deaths are pending verification and classification. DOH is awaiting medical records and reports to verify these deaths prior to official reporting.

Hawai‘i COVID-19 Counts as of 12:00 noon, Sept. 22, 2020    

Island of Diagnosis    

New Cases    

Reported since    


(including new cases) 



















HI residents diagnosed outside of HI   



Total Cases    






Hospitalization count as of 9/21/20 at 5:13 pm: 9-Hawai‘i, 0-Maui, 162-O‘ahu, 0-Kaua‘i  

Laboratory* Testing Data    

There were 1,489 additional COVID-19 tests reported via electronic laboratory reporting.

Total Number of Individuals Tested by Clinical and State Laboratories    






Total Number of Surge Tests++






*Electronic Laboratory Reporting **24 test results were inconclusive    

++ Tests results from unique individuals. Total numbers may be higher due to repeat tests on single individuals.


COVID-19 Epidemic Curve Hawaii September 22, 2020

For more tables, charts and visualizations visit the DOH Disease Outbreak Control Division: https://health.hawaii.gov/coronavirusdisease2019/what-you-should-know/current-situation-in-hawaii

Close Collaboration Between DOH and City & County on Framework Development

Public health experts from the Dept. of Health provided expertise for the City and County of Honolulu to develop the COVID-19 recovery framework. Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble and Kaua‘i District Health Officer Dr. Janet Berreman spoke at the virtual news conference today.

Dr. Berreman called the plan hopeful but noted there are no guarantees. She called the process that created this plan, exemplary. Dr. Berreman, Dr. Kemble, and Health Director Dr. Elizabeth Char sat in virtual rooms for hours, over the course of weeks, to discuss the details with the mayor and his staff. Dr. Berreman said, “There isn’t a right answer…we wanted to get to the most balanced and realistic point. The mayor considered lots of priorities in addition to disease control. We appreciate the transparency. For instance, we recommended that restaurants remain limited to take-out and outdoor dining under Tier One, from a pure, cautionary public health stand-point.” The mayor decided, Berreman said, that after the balanced back and forth and sharing of perspectives he wanted to make an exception and allow restaurants to resume dine-in service in Tier 1, with restrictions.

Dr. Kemble, noted that State and county participants weighed the best evidence, best practices from elsewhere, and local experience to try and balance many competing priorities. The work of developing the plan included reviewing trends and risk levels like, overwhelming the healthcare system or contact tracing capacity. Dr. Kemble encouraged people to continue to wear face coverings, to physically distance, and to wash their hands frequently outside their own bubbles. She said, “These measures are part and parcel of getting us to where we are today and ultimately are critical to the ultimate success of this framework.”

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations: 

Lost Wages Assistance Benefits Distribution Begins  

DLIR announced Thursday that the staggered distribution of funds to claimants of current unemployment insurance programs including the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program has begun. With assistance from HI-EMA, the DLIR received approval to pay six weeks of benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Gov Ige said, “Providing extra relief to those still unemployed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic supports those individuals and their families as well as local businesses as claimants spend the benefits. This maximizes all available federal funds to help people in Hawaiʻi who are unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.”  

The program will pay $300 a week to all eligible claimants that have a weekly benefit amount of $100 or more in unemployment insurance benefits. The program excludes those with a weekly benefit amount of less than $100. Unlike the FPUC program ($600 plus-up) that ended in July, LWA is a grant with a finite amount of funding that only includes benefits for six weeks beginning the week ending Aug. 1 to Sept. 5, 2020.  

DLIR Director Anne Eustaquio said, “Any additional funds to help unemployed workers are welcome – and we estimate that this will provide more than $370 million to families, individuals and our state’s economy. It is important to emphasize however, that this benefit is currently time-limited to only a six-week period and not everyone who has filed an unemployment claim will be eligible.” Benefits generally take three business days to be deposited after issuance by the DLIR. To view the payment schedule: https://labor.hawaii.gov/blog/news/5861/

Department of the Attorney General:

34-Year-Old New Hampshire Woman Arrested for Quarantine Violation

Natalie Pritchett Haley of Landaff, NH was arrested this morning by Special Agents of the AG’s Office Investigations Division on charges of violating quarantine.

Agents report that staff at a Waikīkī hotel witnessed Haley leaving her room with her husband after arriving in Honolulu on Saturday. Her husband is in the military and lied on his wife’s behalf. He had completed his mandatory quarantine.

The man told hotel staff, since the couple had been turned in, they would check-out tomorrow. Haley was arrested at the hotel, charged and had bail set at $2,000.

Helpful Resources


  • Safe Travels Information (Frequently Asked Questions)



  • Trans-Pacific Passenger Arrivals Statistics




  • Maui County
    Maui County mandatory travel declaration form and request for limited quarantine form:


To report violators: (808) 244-6400 or [email protected]


To report violators: 808-935-3311


  • City & County of Honolulu

Honolulu COVID-19 webpage: oneoahu.org

Interisland passengers arriving on O‘ahu are not subject to the mandatory quarantine. 

To report violators: 808-723-3900 or [email protected]


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PDF: COVID-19 Daily News Digest September 22, 2020